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Old 05-28-2011, 05:41 PM   #1
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Proposed challenge idea

I am struggleing to learn to cook for one. It's a long story but I am only cooking for myself these days. I hate to have to eat leftovers, makes me feel deprived. Besides I love to cook (for appreciative people.) But it's hard to cook for one. I need some actual recipes. So I am proposing that we do a challenge to make a meal for no more than two, actually one would be better. Of course this means measuring the tiny amounts of seasoning, spice and herbs. For me knowing the right amount of anything to put in a dish is the big challenge. I can cook for ten, two is a lot harder. Any takers? Goodweed, you want to weigh in on this?

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Old 05-28-2011, 07:07 PM   #2
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A George Foreman grill works great for small stuff. Try stuffing a chicken breat with some mozzerella and jarred bell pepper. Make some rice to go with and the next day you can use the leftover for Fried rice.

A small toater oven works good too for some oven fried chicken livers or strips.
You can make nacho's about a million ways in a toater oven too.

Steak Salad for 1 works well for leftover steak.

The California Roll Rice Bowl that has been posted here would be another good one.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:21 PM   #3
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Leftover don't have to be the same thing again. I find I can get really creative with leftovers. Last Sunday's roast chicken also make chicken-bacon pizza, a black bean/ tomato/ chicken grilled tortilla, and chicken stock.

A roast beef can be made into beef fajitas, a quick stew or a mini-shepherd's pie, hot roast beef sandwiches with fries and gravy, a steak salad.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:18 PM   #4
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I cook (if I cook) for one person most of the time since my DH and I live between three houses. I like this idea for a challenge.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:39 PM   #5
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I cooked for one for a number of years after my divorce. I did a combination of things to get the job done so I could feed myself after a long day at work.

By mixing things up, you could manage to eat well on a regular basis.

1. Cook larger batches of foods like hearty soups, chili, stews, pasta sauce with or without meatballs, etc. Freeze them in meal-sized containers for later use whenever the mood hits you.

2. Buy meats on sale in quantity. Repackage them in meal-sized portions. I always had a supply of chicken, burgers, pork chops, steaks, etc. In the morning, take a piece of meat out of the freezer for that night's dinner. Add a starch and a veggie or salad and you have a nice meal. The variety comes form how you what you do with the meat and the sides.

3. Occasionally, you may want something special that's more than a meal for one. That's when you have leftovers on occasion. It's the price you pay for a special treat. I've never disliked leftovers because they were left over from meals that I really wanted.

4. Mixing and matching the above with an occasional night out or whatever gives you variety.
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:46 PM   #6
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Anyone else interested in this challenge?
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:57 PM   #7
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Cooking for one is a challenge every day for me. I like the ideas, but I think a challenge is too limiting for exploring more of those ideas.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Zhizara View Post
Cooking for one is a challenge every day for me. I like the ideas, but I think a challenge is too limiting for exploring more of those ideas.
But don't you see, that's the whole point, it's a challenge.
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I cooked for one for a number of years after my divorce. I did a combination of things to get the job done so I could feed myself after a long day at work.

By mixing things up, you could manage to eat well on a regular basis.

1. Cook larger batches of foods like hearty soups, chili, stews, pasta sauce with or without meatballs, etc. Freeze them in meal-sized containers for later use whenever the mood hits you.

2. Buy meats on sale in quantity. Repackage them in meal-sized portions. I always had a supply of chicken, burgers, pork chops, steaks, etc. In the morning, take a piece of meat out of the freezer for that night's dinner. Add a starch and a veggie or salad and you have a nice meal. The variety comes form how you what you do with the meat and the sides.

3. Occasionally, you may want something special that's more than a meal for one. That's when you have leftovers on occasion. It's the price you pay for a special treat. I've never disliked leftovers because they were left over from meals that I really wanted.

4. Mixing and matching the above with an occasional night out or whatever gives you variety.

ditto, that is pretty much how i do my meals for one. i don't mind some leftovers so cook one night and not the next. i just don't like endless hams or roasts, etc. i do freeze some things as well.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:12 PM   #10
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Cooking for one or two can be a challenge. I'm up for it. I say though, that we need to think of satisfying meals that we used to cook for more people, like a thanksgiving feast for one, or a Christmas Dinner. That way, we can explore the idea of making something great in small quantities. Anyone else up for this challenge? And, we'd be helping others who find themselves in situations like this, like empty nester's, and those who have lost a spouse, or a college student who can't make it home for a holiday, etc.

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Old 05-29-2011, 08:15 PM   #11
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When I took home ec, we were taught to say "planned overs" instead of left overs ;)
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:28 PM   #12
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I don't find it a challenge cooking for one. I do it every day. Just sayin'.
Although I'm not opposed to eating leftovers. Even cooking a large meal for lots of people can produce leftovers. Last year I made my first Thanksgiving dinner for one, but there were leftovers, which was fine by me.
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
I don't find it a challenge cooking for one. I do it every day. Just sayin'.
Although I'm not opposed to eating leftovers. Even cooking a large meal for lots of people can produce leftovers. Last year I made my first Thanksgiving dinner for one, but there were leftovers, which was fine by me.
When I was on my own, there was one Thanksgiving when my only option was to cook for myself. I happily cooked myself a full traditional Thanksgiving meal including appetizers and two pies. Since that time I haven't had to cook for myself on a holiday. Of course, Thanksgiving leftovers are a part of the tradition.
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #14
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I cheated. I bought my pumpkin pie. lol
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:05 PM   #15
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I cheated. I bought my pumpkin pie. lol

Lots of people, who are cooking for families of more than one, buy pies at Thanksgiving. That's not cheating.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:14 AM   #16
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When I took home ec, we were taught to say "planned overs" instead of left overs ;)
I like that. I look forward to the left overs. So many fun creative things you can do and you don't waste food, save money etc. In my opinion no one should ever feel bad about eating left overs whether they are alone or with others. Plus, in some cases it tastes better the next day OR you can do a whole other dish with it that may be as good or better so...

That said, there are plenty of fresh things you can make for one. Maybe not the most complex things if you wanted to avoid having left overs... errr "planned overs" I mean. The proteins are easy... a filet of fish, a lobster tail, a pound of shrimp, a steak... easy for one person. The veggies also not too hard since you grab as much as you need and even freeze them if you have more than you can or want to eat in a certain amount of time. It's the carb stuff like rice or pasta that is a little tougher to make for one without having planned left overs... so one can do meals without them (that's what I've been doing but I'm on a high protein diet) or make them and keep the left overs for another meal... at least part of the meal will be completely fresh and new.

These are just some ideas. I'm avoiding the challenge part of measuring smaller amounts of recipes and still making it work. If I am cooking for one or two people I do that naturally and take my chances.
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